What makes a great SENDCO

What attributes do you need to be a great SENDCO? Though I have often failed in my attempts at greatness, my experience working with 19 SENDCOs across 10 schools has helped me to recognise some of the aspects that get you closer to greatness. Here’s my top 10 of what I think makes a greatContinue reading “What makes a great SENDCO”

Performance management and the Teaching Assistant role

Why have performance management? With social distancing, the TA role is tougher than ever. Why focus on performance management when the role is so pressured already? Is performance management important for TAs when good performance doesn’t ordinarily get financial reward? I argue here why, though it is not one of the explicit recommendations from theContinue reading “Performance management and the Teaching Assistant role”

Autism Spectrum Disservice – the wait to be assessed and the way forward for schools

I put this Tweet out in early October: This tweet seemed to be received with empathy – 1500 Retweets, 4,000 likes. The Tweet was seen 350,000 times. Of comments shared in response to the Tweet (follow the link here if you should wish to), I saw these 10 things in the responses: It’s a disgrace.Continue reading “Autism Spectrum Disservice – the wait to be assessed and the way forward for schools”

Practical ways to meet parents/carers 3 times per year

“Where a pupil is receiving SEN support, schools should talk to parents regularly to set clear outcomes and review progress towards them, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school. Schools should meet parents at least three times each year.” SENContinue reading “Practical ways to meet parents/carers 3 times per year”

Changing SEND provision for the better – writing your development plan

It’s important to put in writing what you want to drive next year, in terms of your provision for children with SEND. This helps you to remain proactive and attuned to the bigger picture, strategic priorities; not purely the day-to-day. You might be grappling with your development plan currently, trying to work out what yourContinue reading “Changing SEND provision for the better – writing your development plan”

What to do about data

In various schools and for various SENDCOs, there is too much or too little data, data that’s not well-shared or data that requires a degree to interpret. What follows hopes to guide you to know what you might look out for in terms of your context, your attendance, your behaviour/exclusions and your academic outcomes. NothingContinue reading “What to do about data”

New to the SENDCO role? Find 10 hours to do these 10 things before you break up for the summer

Look at your current SEND register (1 hour) Work out who you need to make a particular effort to get to know once you’re in the role. Make a list of these students and make them your priority for seeing in class and reading up on from September. 2. Make a realistic reading list andContinue reading “New to the SENDCO role? Find 10 hours to do these 10 things before you break up for the summer”

Label me?

Parents waiting 3 months for a CAMHS appointment, 6 months to see an Occupational Therapist or 2 years for a diagnostic assessment for autism. Secondary school children on an SEND register with no chance of seeing an NHS Speech and Language Therapist unless they have an EHCP. Families who can’t afford a dyslexia assessment atContinue reading “Label me?”

How to ensure effective parent-school partnership when schools reopen

In the last blogpost, I mentioned some of the literature that shows fairly definitively that parent/carer involvement is a highly significant factor in children making progress in school. I pointed to some of the research that shows it being particularly true for children with special educational needs and disabilities. What does best practice look likeContinue reading “How to ensure effective parent-school partnership when schools reopen”

Time to get school-parent partnership right for children with SEND

It’s really time to get school-parent partnership right. If we hadn’t realised already that parents and carers are the vital cog in the wheel of successful provision for children with special educational needs, school closure should be a timely reminder of the need for a truly partnered approach for any school that prides itself onContinue reading “Time to get school-parent partnership right for children with SEND”